Need a Job? Tough!

Fortune magazine recently reported that 30 percent of all jobs held in 1989 had disappeared by the end of 1993. Two thirds of the job losses came because of plant and office closings. Seventy percent of all net jobs created in that time came from just three percent of the companies surveyed.

What has happened to the millions of Americans who have been laid off in the past six years? Many of them took an unwanted "early retirement" since they couldn't find another job. Thousands of formerly well-paid executives now eke out meager livings as "consultants" -- a nice euphemism for erratic, short-term assignments.

Business Week columnist Robert Kuttner described the current job market as "relentless downsizing, with new pressures on once-secure professionals as well as depletion of solid blue-collar jobs. At the bottom: growing part-time and temporary hires, low-wage jobs in services, especially retailing, and dismal starting wages."

Virtually every segment of the American job market is under assault. In the past, it was blue-collar workers who were subjected to frequent lay-offs, but the Grim Reaper has also hit executive suites with a vengeance in the '90s. Older middle managers are well aware of the "50-50 rule": if you are over 50 years of age and earn more than $50,000/year, your job is at risk (The McAlvany Report, July 1995, p. 11).

Editor: Not much has changed since 1995.